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Why do we owe ~$2000 to the federal government this year?

Married Filing Jointly - Last year we got back $115 federal, but this year it's saying we owe $2000 federal. We did make $20k more this year (because one of us only worked half of last year), but didn't enter a new tax bracket. It says we have $48k of taxable income and have a tax rate of 9.2%, but saying we owed $6400 this year and only paid ~$4600. Something just isn't adding up.
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2 Replies
GP70
Level 3

Why do we owe ~$2000 to the federal government this year?

If you are filling a joint return, I assume you and your spouse had income that was reported to you on a W-2.  You need to review the taxes withheld in box 2 of each of your W-2's and be sure the amount of tax withheld as identified on line 64 of form 1040 (will be a different line number for form 1040A) is equal to the sum of the taxes withheld as reported in box 2 of your W-2's.  If the numbers are different, then I suspect you made a data entry error when you entered the data from box 2 for each W-2.  If the numbers are the same, you probably did not have enough tax withheld from your earned income during the year.  This may be the result of different exemptions reported on your return or different credits claimed between 2015 and 2016.  If this is the case, you should talk to your employer and adjust your W-4 exemptions so that more tax is held out each pay period for 2017 or you will have the same problem on your 2017 return.
GP70
Level 3

Why do we owe ~$2000 to the federal government this year?

If your taxable income is $48,000, your income tax should be $5,382 for MFJ.  If you paid in $4,600, you will owe an additional $782 in income tax.  Some questions that need to be addressed:  (1) Did you have any self employment income?  if so, this income and the self employment tax needs to be added to your return.  This will increase your income tax due.  (2)Did you apply for health insurance through the marketplace site in late 2017?  If so, you should receive a 1095-A and data from the 1095-A needs to be entered in your return.  If you failed to enter this data, it will increase your tax due amount.  (3) Finally, check over all your data entries to be sure you have entered all the data correctly.

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